Jeffs Get by Colby in NESCAC Semifinals, 66-52
Contact: Justin Long
Marcia Voigt '13 had 17 points and eight boards off the bench.
AMHERST, Mass. – Marcia Voigt ’13 scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench to lead the Amherst College women’s basketball team to a 66-52 win over Colby College in the NESCAC Championship semifinals Saturday afternoon at LeFrak Gymnasium.
Amherst (26-0) didn’t take the lead for good until 18 seconds remained in regulation when these teams met during the regular season, but the Lord Jeffs led from wire to wire this time around. Amherst scored the game’s first nine points and never looked back, notably holding the Mules scoreless for the first 6:10.
Colby’s Jil Vaughan led all players with 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting and added nine rebounds, while Rachel Mack added 11 points and 10 boards for the Mules. Voigt’s 17 points led the Lord Jeffs, with Caroline Stedman ’12 adding 14.
The top-seeded Lord Jeffs will host second-seeded Tufts in Sunday’s finals at noon, while the Mules (19-7) will hope for an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament.
Colby missed its first nine shots and didn’t get on the board until Vaughan hit a turnaround jumper with 13:50 on the clock. Stedman buried a pair of early three-pointers and Voigt connected on one of her own to push Amherst’s lead to 19-2 at 10:50.
After Stedman and Voigt combined for 22 consecutive Amherst points, Kim Fiorentino ’12 and Megan Robertson ’15 got into the scoring mix. Robertson knocked down a long jumper and followed with a layup to bring the score to 35-15, and the final points of the half came when Colby’s Jacky McLaughlin hit a layup with 1:07 to go, bringing the score to 35-17.
Colby put together an 8-1 run early in the second half on two Vaughan layups and four free throws by Aarika Ritchie, but Stedman’s fourth three-pointer of the game helped Amherst push right back with seven consecutive points.
The Lord Jeffs led by as many as 27 (62-35) after holding Colby to three points during a 6:11 stretch, but the Mules controlled the final six minutes of regulation. Three triples from Mack and great post play by Vaughan led to a 15-point run as the visitors suddenly trailed by only 11 with 1:19 on the clock, but the deficit was too large to overcome.
Fiorentino finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Amherst, while Robertson added 11 points and nine boards. The teams were virtually identical in terms of rebounding and shooting, but the Mules were hurt by a 7-for-19 showing at the line.
Amherst increased its home winning streak to 62 games and has now won 45 straight overall.
2012 NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship
Quarterfinal Round - Saturday, Feb. 18
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 8 Trinity, 94-59
No. 2 Tufts def. No. 7 Connecticut, 57-40
No. 3 Bowdoin def. No. 6 Wesleyan, 53-37
No. 4 Colby def. No. 5 Williams, 61-59
Semifinal Round - Saturday, Feb. 25
No. 1 Amherst def. No. 4 Colby, 66-52
No. 2 Tufts def. No. 3 Bowdoin, 55-40
Championship Game - Sunday, Feb. 26
No. 1 Amherst (26-0) vs. No. 2 Tufts (21-5) --- 12 p.m.